RHIZOSPHERIC-Wetland - Integrated wastewater treatment and landfill recultivation by means of development of a closed-cycle rhizospheric biological wastewater treatment system on the top of a small municipal landfill of waste site - a solution for rural areas

LIFE02 ENV/H/000443

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Horvàthné ORBAN
Tel: +36-44-703-200
Fax: +36-44-378-140
Email: info@magosligetproject.hu

Project description:


The communal landfill site at Magosliget (NE Hungary, 350 km from Budapest) has been in use for about 20 years. When the site was established, it was not the environmental considerations that were the decisive factors, but rather the easy access to the site. On completing the road construction works, the aim was to fill up the large, open cut mine pits. Therefore, the filling up of the area with communal waste began without establishing any kind of protective system. This policy is still practised today. Fortunately, in this region there is a continuous, watertight clay (K= 10-8) layer at a depth of 4-5 meters below the surface, which has so far prevented the leaching of pollutants into the groundwater and into the wells which are used widely for supplying the communal water to the neighbouring settlements. The fact that the landfill site does not have perimeter fencing also poses a serious problem, raising the possibility of accidents and the spread of infectious diseases. Furthermore, wind carries airborne pollutants from the site over a wide area, putting the Tisza Nature Protected Region at risk of environmental pollution.


The aim of the project was to undertake the complex reconversion of the solid communal landfill site located at Magosliget. The planned recultivation was to involve establishing a reed-bed, or closed-cycle rhizospheric, biological waste water treatment system. The highly innovative technology proposed in this LIFE project would not only solve the reconversion of the landfill but would also ensure the cleaning and re-use of the sewage produced by four neighbouring villages (Magosliget, Uszka, Kispalád and Botpalád - altogether about 1,700 inhabitants). Furthermore, the project would also aim to generate new job opportunities and alternative income sources.


In one of the poorest areas of East Hungary, in the small village of Magosliget, an innovative wastewater system was set up with the support of EU funds. The complex recultivation of the solid communal landfill located at Magosliget was successfully carried out. The recultivation included establishing the biological, so-called reed bed type rhizospheric sewage water cleaning and re-utilising plant and the establishment of a 4 km long sewer pipeline. The main actions carried out were: - Recultivation of the waste site. - Pipeline system and collection system. - Wastewater purifier pools and new type of water drainage system inside and in between the pools, Supplementary instruments/equipment, dissolvent pool and compost pool. - Purified wastewater reservoir lake – 5000 m3 capacity, in extreme cases the wastewater quantity of 250 days may be stored. The quantity of the generated waste in the four villages does not reach 50m3/day. The capacity of the plant is 180-190 m3/day. - Irrigation field – purified wastewater for agricultural purposes and production of energy willow. The project had a good dissemination strategy which was targeted at local and neighbouring stakeholders (marketing plan, press articles, Budapest TV, brochures, website,international symposium etc). The project has demonstrated that the implementation of such a biological wastewater treatment system can be achieved in small villages under 2000 residents, compared to expensive, non cost-efficient mechanic wastewater systems. The approach could be replicated in similar areas of Hungary but also in the neighbouring countries, especially in Ukraine and Romania. By the recultivation of the waste site, the groundwater in the area will not be polluted any longer. On several occasions in the past, flood water from the River Tisza has meant that much of the waste was washed out from the site causing environmental damage. Thanks to the recultivation, this hazard will be reduced and further pollution can also be avoided as the illegal waste site is recultivated. This result would not have been achieved without the LIFE project.


Environmental issues addressed:


Water - Waste water treatment
Waste - Municipal waste (including household and commercial)


protected area‚  site rehabilitation‚  waste water treatment‚  employment‚  municipal waste‚  landfill

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 91/271 - Urban waste water treatment (21.05.1991)
  • Waste
  • Directive 1999/31 - Landfill of waste (26.04.1999)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Municipality of Magosliget
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The beneficiary is the municipality of Magosliget, a small village with 200 inhabitants located at the Hungarian-Ukranian border (external border of the EU).
Partners INNOSTART National Business and Innovation Centre Foundation GREENFUTURE Ltd. GEONARDO Environmental Technologies Ltd.


Project reference LIFE02 ENV/H/000443
Duration 01-OCT-2002 to 01-OCT -2004
Total budget 932,321.00 €
EU contribution 438,473.00 €
Project location Associated Hungary (H)(Hungary Magyarország)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication Title: Layman report Year: 2004


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version